This book examines the fast-changing patterns of work in the global market and the resulting social, cultural, and economic impact on the work force.
Meanings of Work examines interconnected cultural, social, and economic dimensions of human work. It provides an innovating interdisciplinary basis for understanding the fast changing patterns of work in a now globally unitary market, increasingly beset with problems such as contingent employment and decline of the middle class. In concentrating on sociocultural considerations of work, the book includes essays from Herbert Applebaum, Marietta L. Baba, Ivar Berg, Judith R. Blau, Amitai Etzioni, Frederick C. Gamst, Walter Goldschmidt, June Nash, and Robert Weiss.
The authors discuss the scope, utility, applications, and limitations of historical and contemporary theories, analyses, and ideas about the integration of societies through work organizations and their occupational and other social statuses. Also included are the issues of discontent and satisfaction generated by work; the cultural meanings and myths of work; the exercise of power in work; the decision-making process as affected by emotions and values; the social expectations of work and nonwork, including the distinguishing of work from leisure; and the reactions to and processes of retirement from work.
Frederick C. Gamst is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Harbor Campus, where he is associated with its Center for Labor Research. Other books written by Gamst include Peasants in Complex Society; Studies in Cultural Anthropology; Ideas of Culture: Sources and Uses; and The Hoghead: An Industrial Ethnology of the Locomotive Engineer.